Review by Ryphis_Demeanor
Better Than The Last - But Not The Best
This will be a simple review of a simple game. There's really no need to overly criticize puzzle games and generally anyone purchasing a puzzle game knows what they are getting from the get go. Due to the sheer amount of Bust-a-move games, the reviews seem more for fans of the series than newcomers. Here is the breakdown:
The graphics are weak and don't really say 128 bit. They seem more N64 quality and don't really stand out. I'll just state first and foremost that I believe Super Bust-a-move 4 for the Dreamcast is the best version of Bust-a-move I've played. This is my second favorite version. The graphics are much better than Super-Bust-a-move 1 for the PS2. The bubbles look less than shiny, more like pixelated, and the characters and animations are wobbly and undefined. The special effects are slightly above average and little effort appears to have been put into this game's design. The same characters return from the last game along with a few new faces. Really the characters are only subsidiary to the action but do decide which color bubbles you can bombard your enemy with in the Versus Mode.
Sound has never been the meat of these games, and other than the bubble popping noise, which doesn't have that magic "plop", there's little noise or music to comment on. The voices are eagerly annoying and due their duty of creating lovable hate-able animated heathens that throw bubbles at each other. Music is utterly worthless and you will find yourself turning down the volume and turning up the ipod before you know it.
Gameplay and Lasting Appeal: 8.5/10
Here's why you are here in the first place and reading this. This version of Bust-a-move has great gameplay and the many modes and versus option will keep you playing for years. The conveyor belts return in this version which is a welcome come back. There are also several other additions and all of them add to gameplay. I really enjoyed playing through the single player puzzle mode with my girlfriend and becoming baffled by the final level. The challenge in the puzzle mode is great. There is also nothing like being defeated by someone that is significantly better than you in the versus mode. The lack of crazy modes such as the Tarot Card mode from the dreamcast version was sad, but ultimately it succeeds in being a great puzzle game for the PS2. I've found more people willing and able to play Super Bust-a-move 2 than Katamari Damacy and Tekken, both party pleasers. Even though the score is below 8/10 I suggest this game for anyone that likes playing puzzle games or playing games with their friends.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
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